Adenosine-based cell therapy approaches for pharmacoresistant epilepsies

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51 Scopus citations


Despite recent medical advances pharmacoresistant epilepsy continues to be a major health problem. The knowledge of endogenous protective mechanisms of the brain may lead to the development of rational therapies tailored to a patient's needs. Adenosine has been identified as an endogenous neuromodulator with antiepileptic and neuroprotective properties. However, the therapeutic use of adenosine or its receptor agonists is largely precluded by strong peripheral and central side effects. Thus, local delivery of adenosine to a critical site of the brain may provide a solution for the therapeutic use of adenosine. The following rationale for the local augmentation of the adenosine system as a novel therapeutic principle in the treatment of epilepsy has been established: (1) Deficits in the adenosinergic system are associated with epileptogenesis and these deficits promote seizures. Thus, reconstitution of an inhibitory adenosinergic tone is a rational therapeutic approach. (2) The focal paracrine delivery of adenosine from encapsulated cells suppresses seizures in kindled rats without overt side effects. (3) The anticonvulsant activity of locally released adenosine is maintained in models of epilepsy which are resistant to major antiepileptic drugs. This review summarizes the rationale and recent approaches for adenosine-based cell therapies for pharmacoresistant epilepsies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalNeurodegenerative Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Adenosine
  • Adenosine kinase
  • Epilepsy
  • Epileptogenesis
  • Kindling
  • Mouse models

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